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By William Kloefkorn

Whether writing a couple of boyhood within the nice melancholy, the bond among a tender guy and his relations, digging hurricane cellars and ducking tornadoes, or the shedding of the atomic bomb as skilled through a paperboy in small-town Kansas, Kloefkorn brings a congenial mix of seriousness and humor to his matters. the following and there the usual lends itself to the not-so-common query: what's the abnormal courting among energy, terror, and wonder? Why are people torn among staying placed and moving—in highbrow and religious in addition to actual phrases? and what sort of of who we're consists of who we have been? Rife with perception, At domestic in this portable Earth is as splendidly readable because the first volumes of Kloefkorn’s memoirs, a considerate journey of a curious character’s existence to date and a version of retrospective introspection.

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Our nail box was perhaps misnamed. It was not a box, but a large can, and it contained not only nails but also nuts and bolts and screws and small hinges and maybe a dead bug or two. Even so, we called it the nail box, probably because in the beginning we had intended it to be exclusively a nail box. But somehow nuts and bolts and so forth found their way into the can, so that when we needed anything smaller than a John Deere tractor we went to the nail box fully intending to find it. I selected the largest nail and because I believed that my father was in a hurry I did not return the scattered contents to the can.

The sad truth is that he never did redeem them. We therefore continued to frequent the outhouse, all of us, in both torrid and arctic weather, and Mother continued to humor our ancient Maytag, to feed our shirts and pants and blouses into wringers that occasionally clogged, and my sister continued to sleep on a mattress that she said was like sleeping on bricks, though I do not believe she had ever slept on bricks. I meanwhile – and sometimes my brother with me – hefted the packet of coupons, counted them, wondered what miracle might come to us should our father one day redeem them.

I don’t know. Maybe because he sold them in the cafe, before they were rationed during the war, and he could buy them wholesale, or maybe he kept one of his grass-green eyes out for empty discarded packages. What I do know is that the wad of coupons grew larger and larger, prompt26 ing me to wonder when if ever my father was going to redeem them – and for what? We needed many things, according to Mother – an indoor toilet, a new Maytag, a softer mattress for my older sister’s rock-hard bed. But I had difficulty imagining any of these arriving in the mail as a consequence of my father’s redeeming his Raleigh coupons, though I wanted to believe, and I tried desperately to believe, that in this veil of tears anything under the sun was possible.

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